House OKs Peltola’s drilling bill after she abandons it

By Heather Richards, Garrett Downs | 05/02/2024 06:46 AM EDT

Alaska Democrat Mary Peltola retracted her support for the legislation, citing impacts to Arctic fisheries.

Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Alaska).

Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Alaska) during House debate Wednesday. House Television

The Republican-led House passed legislation Wednesday to restore Trump-era drilling rights in the Arctic, despite its lone Democratic sponsor surprisingly pulling her support and urging colleagues to vote against it. Republicans called the move a “cop out.”

Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Alaska) is a co-sponsor of “Alaska’s Right to Produce Act,” H.R. 6285, to reinstate oil leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) instituted under former President Donald Trump.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.), would also block the Biden administration’s sweeping oil restrictions in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. It passed mostly along party lines, 214 to 199.


But just ahead of that vote, Peltola launched a campaign to rally opposition to her own bill because she said it would also nullify a protected fishing and conservation area for Alaska Natives in the Bering Sea.